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9 things you should know before starting Bayonetta 3

When in doubt, use Witch Time

Bayonetta points two pistols at the camera in Bayonetta 3. Image: Platinum/Nintendo via Polygon

Bayonetta 3 is the biggest game of the series to date, and not just from a marketing standpoint. Chapters tend to take place in open areas with dozens of hidden pathways, optional combat encounters, and collectibles to find. Between a new playable character and secondary objectives everywhere, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But don’t fret, here are nine Bayonetta 3 tips to prepare you before performing any ancient rituals.

Magic recharges faster during Witch Time

“Get used to Witch Time” is the go-to advice for the entire series, but even more so in Bayonetta 3. Witch Time puts enemies into slow-motion for a brief period, allowing Bayonetta or Viola to get more hits in. Bayonetta can enter Witch Time after performing a successful dodge, whereas Viola gets it from parrying.

You won’t be able to keep Slave Demons summoned forever, so whenever you’re using Witch Time, make haste and attack enemies as much as possible to recharge your magic faster. If you’re having trouble with an enemy and they’re either off the ground or far away from you, spamming your ranged attacks is a good option to recharge it as well, albeit at a slower pace.

Summon Slave Demons to gather materials

I recommend summoning your Slave Demon when there are several objects around you, as it’ll allow you to destroy most of them — trees, buildings, street items, you name it — at once. What’s more, once you get your hands on the Spider demon, crawling around buildings and other crowded spots is key to gathering materials in quick succession.

Keep in mind that some enemies will actually try and kill your summons by pinning them down. You can prevent this by using strong weapons, such as the G-Pillar, and literally smack them to interrupt the execution. If anything, remember that canceling a summon is always a good defense method.

Materials don’t stack up forever

It took me until Chapter 4 to realize that you don’t have infinite room for materials. Material types cap out at 99 each, which sounds generous enough, but it’s an allotment that easily get filled up without you noticing. Don’t be like me. Instead, craft recipes whenever possible. I recommend getting used to doing so at the beginning of each chapter. But in the worst-case scenario, you can always pause during combat to craft a few items when you’re in dire need of some help.

Flashes are for Demon Slave follow-up attacks

Whenever you perform a certain combo with your weapons, you’ll see and hear a flash — this indicates an opportunity for a follow-up attack with your Demon Slave. While you’re free to dive into the combos list and learn each sequence to make this happen, I recommend just paying attention to the screen while you’re still learning the ropes. Get used to reacting to a flash with a push of the LZ button each time as soon as possible, and you’ll be making the most out of each situation from then on.

Bayonetta stands near Viola on a sunny day in Bayonetta 3. Image: Platinum/Nintendo via Polygon

Viola can wear Bayonetta’s accessories

As you progress through Bayonetta 3’s story, you’ll be able to purchase different accessories for Bayonetta. That said, you can also use them whenever you’re playing as Viola without any restrictions. Just make sure to manually equip them, as the game won’t do so automatically whenever a chapter switches between characters.

Customization is unlocked after finishing the main story

Speaking of irresponsible purchases, you’ll notice that Rodin has multiple cosmetics in his shop. These are all related to a customization option that becomes available once you finish the main story, which allows you to change a few cosmetic options for Bayonetta and Viola. So, yes, you’ll have to hit the credits at least once for this menu to become available. (On that note, feel free to save up those Halos for when the time comes, and focus on other items instead. Or not! I’m not one to judge somebody for spending money on things they don’t need!)

Yes, loot respawns after certain situations

If you restart a chapter, either because you ran out of health or because you wanted to manually replay it, materials and orbs will respawn. Moreover, this also works when you complete a trial and come back. If you’re short on any specific item type and you find a good spot with tons of them — such as cities with abandoned cars — you can go ahead and farm for a bit by replaying these sections.

A cat perches on Bayonetta’s shoulder in Bayonetta 3. Image: Platinum/Nintendo via Polygon

The rule also applies to Umbran Tears and chests that you’ve collected already. Repeating the steps might be a chore, especially for the tricky ones, but they will always grant you a few items.

Don’t worry, there are tons of weapons and demons to unlock

During the first few chapters, it’s hard to gauge exactly how many weapons you’ll eventually have access to. While I won’t spoil the surprise, just know that they’re all tied to the main story, so just progress through the main chapters to find more. There isn’t a metroidvania-esque element of needing specific weapons for certain situations, but if you’re looking to gather every collectible or hidden item, some demons will definitely make traversal easier. If you get stuck at any point, just know that you’ll be able to come back with different tools later on.

Bayonetta looks at her hand in Bayonetta 3’s photo mode on Nintendo Switch. Image: Platinum/Nintendo via Polygon

You can make Photo Mode look less blurry

Let’s wrap with one for the digital photographers. If you’re wondering how to make Bayonetta 3’s photo mode less blurry, this tip might help. The default zoom, called Subject Distance, isn’t going to do much. What you want to do for closer shots is press L + D-Pad Up or Down to increase it further.

In addition, press Y to open the Detail Menu, select Motion Blur, and tune it all the way down. I recommend getting rid of Film Grain as well, and touching Sharpness just a bit to find the clarity you’re looking for. Yeah, you’ll have to repeat these steps each time, but trust me, those selfies will look much better.